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4. When he teamed up with Skurge
Skurge the Executioner, it seems, was never the popular kid. At the very least, he never seemed to make it even as a villain. The violent, dim-witted Skurge appeared to be doomed to a fate as a cut-rate bad guy, never quite making his own in the world of the high-powered Asgardians.
Yet, in the hands of Walt Simonson, Skurge rose above his checkered comics past and became someone truly transcendent. And if you’re rolling your eyes at yet another mention of Simonson, don’t. There are many, many good reasons for his inclusion on this list, only a few of which are mentioned here. Seriously, I can’t urge you to check out his Thor run enough.
Skurge redeemed himself in Thor #365, tellingly called “Skurge’s Last Stand”. In the story, Thor and some of his fellow Asgardians must brave the realm of Hela, goddess of death. Along with Skurge, the group works to rescue some souls from the underworld.
Hela, of course, wasn’t very into the idea. She sent her forces against the group, who were only just able to keep ahead of the goddess’ hordes. They finally reach a narrow bridge out of Hel’s realm but realize that someone must stay behind to fight Hela’s minions and make time for the others.
Thor, of course, offers to take on the task, which will surely kill him. And yet, it’s Skurge who steps forward. Thanks to some awe-inspiring work from Simonson, Skurge’s last stand is enough to make you sit down and cry. It’s incredible.